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A trail of death and heartache

'That's my mommy,' the little girl said

August 19, 2007|Jill Leovy

Five-year-old Cheyenne, above, the daughter of homicide victim Ashley Cheval, stood fidgeting as LAPD Chief William Bratton and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa touted this year's lower violent-crime rate during an appearance May 29 at the 77th Street police station. The family of Cheval, who was shot dead in her car by three men in a gold Lincoln Mercury a year ago, had been invited to the news conference to help draw attention to the problem of unsolved murders.

When it was over, television crews began packing up their cameras. Cheyenne broke away from her family, walked up to a reporter and pointed to the poster of her mother, displayed on one side of the podium. "That's my mommy," Cheyenne said. Then she insisted on writing her mother's name in a reporter's notebook. She wrote A-S-H-L-E-Y.

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